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Big Switch's strategic vendor partnerships will be key to convincing customers and partners of its approach, Butler argued. Big Switch's Open SDN ecosystem has some varied, and big-name, participants, including A10 Networks, Arista Networks, Broadcom, Brocade, Canonical, Cariden, Citrix, Cloudscaling, Coraid, Dell, Endace, Extreme Networks, F5 Networks, Fortinet, Infoblox, Juniper Networks, Mellanox, Microsoft, Mirantis, Nebula, Piston Cloud, Palo Alto Networks, Radware, StackOps, ThreatStop, vArmour and Vyatta.
Accuvant, the Denver-based infrastructure solution providers, is among its early channel partner sign-ons.
"Accuvant is partnering with a number of companies in the SDN space," said Steve Perkins, Accuvant's director of secure virtualization. "We see it as important because networking today is a key underpinning and foundation of security. If the network changes, Accuvant needs to understand it at its most fundamental level."
Accuvant plans to partner with many companies in the SDN space but found Big Switch interesting "because of their open systems approach and the extensibility of their architecture, which goes beyond simple networking and into advanced network services and security."
Other partners are still in various stages of hammering out an agreement, Big Switch's Butler said, but they come from a number of data center and infrastructure disciplines, including network security, cloud and the OpenStack community. Butler and Matlof declined to discuss exact partner margins on Big Switch sales, but they said the returns would be "generally higher than what partners are used to" and that partners would also be able to register deals.
While few other SDN companies have articulated channel strategies as they come to market, Big Switch had little question that it would work with partners, Butler added.
"We bring them in as the specialist, and they have probably a greater touch than we might," Butler said. "We are not taking deals direct. Then, you have to do all the work by yourself. This is a perfect solution for their services and expertise. And, they can make money with us."